In the Know with Emily: Government Shutdowns

Emily Lewin, Editor

For anyone who glances at the news, you may have seen headlines that said government shutdown. I’m sure most, if not all, of my peers don’t know what a government shutdown is. I had no idea either, until now, but it is important to be knowledgeable of the everything that goes on in the government. That includes shutdowns. Here is the scoop on government shutdowns and why Trump has been considering one.

First, what causes a government shutdown? A shutdown is started when congress and the president can’t agree on federal spending and where to direct the money to federal organizations. For Trump’s shutdown, the problem surrounds his border wall he wants to create. The first government shutdown in history was with Gerald Ford in 1976, there is a total of twenty shutdowns in U.S history.

A government shutdown can affects many people. The “top” workers in a federal organization continue work as normal. However, the employees with less vital jobs will be sent home. Marc Goldwein, senior policy director of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget,  recalls feeling unimportant as he was told to go home. In 2013, 850,000 workers were sent home. Many of us who have jobs probably are thinking, “wow, I would love to not have to go to work.” However, when you are an adult with bills to pay, it’s a major inconvenience. During, and after, a shutdown, a paycheck is not guaranteed for a prompt arrival. One aspect is certain about the shutdowns, they cost more than they make. $24 billion was lost in the 2013 shutdown.

The U.S government may not affect us directly at this point in our lives, but it can in the future. That’s why it’s so important to know what goes on in the government. Some federal departments continue business as usual, like the Postal Service and the TSA. Despite a couple organizations staying open, thousands of workers are sent home, even state parks can be shut down. We, as teens, may not be able to do much about the shutdown, but we can educate ourselves and form our own conclusions and opinions. Many teenagers end up looking foolish on social media because they don’t know what they’re exactly talking about. It is important to research and study the government so you can draw up factual conclusions.